Drivers – (44) Lewis Hamilton, (77) Valtteri Bottas
Lewis Hamilton and new team-mate Valtteri Bottas will lead Mercedes hopes of a fourth successive world title this season. Hamilton will be hoping for a less intensive fight with Bottas than he had with Nico Rosberg. Bottas will be hoping he can prove he can fight hard against Hamilton on track, to earn a long-term seat.
Mercedes will be aware that this season will not be as easy, as the regulations have changed to an aero formula and Red Bull excel in that field. Hamilton will be aiming as ever for that fourth title while Bottas will be aiming to get to the top step on the podium for the first time.
Drivers – (5) Sebastian Vettel, (7) Kimi Raikkonen
Ferrari has stuck with the all champion line of Vettel and Raikkonen this season. Having aimed last season to challenge Mercedes for the title, the team will be hoping the regulation changes will allow them the chance to fight with Mercedes and Red Bull. This will also help ease the tensions within the team and hopefully help them fight as a team, as they will be hoping the regulation changes allow them to make gains
Drivers – (33) Max Verstappen, (3) Daniel Ricciardo
Red Bull has kept both Ricciardo and Verstappen this season, which proved to be one of the best line-ups on the grid. Both have the ability to race hard while keeping it clean. They both are able to hold their own nerves, especially Verstappen in the wheel to wheel combat. Red Bull excel in the aero department and with the regulation changes, coupled with the brilliant driver line-up should be able to mount a tough challenge to Mercedes.
Drivers – (27) Nico Hulkenberg, (30) Jolyon Palmer
Nico Hulkenberg gets his first drive for a works team and has an experienced driver now. He has gained the dream of driving for a works team this season, but Renault we know are on a long-term rebuilding plan and hopefully this season we will begin to see some of that pay off.
But, it hasn’t been the perfect winter for the team, with the departure of team boss Fred Vasseur. They know they will be on the back foot.
Drivers – (18) Lance Stroll, (19) Felipe Massa
Following Valtteri Bottas’s late move to Mercedes means despite announcing his retirement in September Felipe Massa will be looking to mentor team-mate Lance Stroll this season. Williams form dipped away last season, something the team will be looking to reverse this season, but upheaval in the technical side could impact the team further.
Another question will be if Massa can deliver as he ‘mentally retired’ last year. We know he has the ability to race well and is the experienced driver, so he can lead the team and mentor the young Canadian. Stroll will want to follow the example set by Max Verstappen who followed the same path into F1.
Drivers – (14) Fernando Alonso, (2) Stoffel Vandoorne
After his impressive debut which earnt him a lot of interest, McLaren has promoted test driver Stoffel Vandoorne to drive alongside Fernando Alonso. Vandoorne proved himself last year in Bahrain and racing in Super Formula, where he was the highest Honda-powered car in the championship.
This season, McLaren will be hoping to challenge at the honda power unit continues to make gains and they can make gains with the aero regulations. Last year compared to 2015, was a huge jump for the team and they will be hoping to get back to the top again.
Drivers – (11) Sergio Pérez, (31) Esteban Ocon
Force India have retained Sergio Perez, who this season is joined by Mercedes backed Esteban Ocon. Perez now in his seventh season of Formula One has proven himself to be able to get the most out of the car. Force India are a team that are beginning to move well up into the midfield, but as a small independent team may struggle to adapt to the regulation changes. But if there’s a driver who could deliver good results its Perez.
Drivers – (55) Carlos Sainz, (26) Daniil Kvyat
Toro Rosso has retained both their drivers, following the swap mid-season of Kvyat and Verstappen. This was a surprise as many expected as history suggests Kvyat would lose the seat. But when in the latter part of the season when he was under pressure to perform, he really picked up his game against Sainz.
Sainz is another great young driver going into his third season with the team. He has proven that he can race well and get results, last season he really raised his game following Verstappen’s move and gave the team decent results. This was harmed he could have done better if the team had a 2016-spec engine.
Drivers – (8) Romain Grosjean, (20) Kevin Magnussen
Haas had a good start to their first season in Formula One last season with Grosjean proving himself as the teams’ leader on track. The Frenchman proved despite Haas being a new team they could get great results early on. He will be joined by former Renault and McLaren driver Kevin Magnussen. This gives the team lots of experience, as Magnussen was with McLaren for many years.
Grosjean has proved over the last few years and especially in Melbourne and Bahrain last season, he can deliver strong performances. Magnussen will be looking to match his team-mate, giving him a medium term seat with the team.